The 2015 Tabor Adelaide Creative Writing Awards

Over the years I have submitted quite a few poems and stories to writing competitions, with a moderate level of success. I should enter far more than I do because I have such a vast number of poems and a few stories that the only problem is actually choosing which pieces go where. I have also been intending sending off far more items to magazines and journals in the hope of being published.

To me there seems little point in all of that writing languishing unread and unloved on my hard-drive. I would encourage my readers to do the same. In the light of that I will include here details of some up and coming competitions and publishing opportunities. Here is the first one:

The 2015 Tabor Adelaide Creative Writing Awards

Submissions for this creative writing competition are now open and will close on March 6th 2015. Only one entry for each category – poetry and short story – is allowed per person. Unlike most competitions, entry for this one is free.

This is the second time this competition has been offered and I intend to submit a poem in the next day or so. I do not have a suitable story on the set theme “Hope against hope” and I am hoping that some inspiration will come my way in the next week or so.

When I was completing my Masters degree at Tabor a few years ago we often talked about the possibility of hosting a writing competition but nothing came of it then. It is therefore great to see it finally get off the ground and last year’s event was a huge success with hundreds of entries from all over Australia.


Good writing.

Creative writing courses at Tabor Adelaide

A few years ago I completed my Master of Arts Creative Writing at Tabor Adelaide.You can read about my experiences by clicking on the appropriate category on the sidebar.

It was a difficult and challenging but immensely rewarding experience, something which has vastly improved my overall writing skills. As I write this Tabor is accepting enrolments for the coming semester which starts in July.

For more information on the courses, fees and enrolment procedures visit or phone (08) 8373 8740 (in Australia). Many courses are now offered to external students, so geography is no barrier to success.

I can recommend the courses and those lecturing.

Good writing.

Tabor Adelaide Graduation Day 2012

Yesterday I dressed up all smart and official and headed off to Adelaide, about an hour’s drive from home. I attended the Tabor Adelaide Graduation Day for 2012. At the same event in 2011 I  graduated, having achieved my Master of Arts (Creative Writing) degree. It was a wonderful day and I had a great sense of achievement.

A few months later I was invited to join the teaching staff and I started lecturing as an Adjunct Lecturer earlier this year. So far it is going really well and I am enjoying the experience – in spite of how it tires me out at my age.  More recently I have agreed to teach a second subject next semester.

Today I was able to witness a number of close friends graduating. I also had the privilege of joining the ranks of staff members during the ceremony.

I would highly recommend Tabor Adelaide to any prospective students. Many of their courses – including the creative writing units – can be studied externally, and even overseas. Semester 2 does not commence until mid-July, so you have plenty of time to enrol. You never know – you could end up with me as your lecturer!

The writing courses are particularly valuable. I regularly write and then submit stories, poems and articles to publishers. When I started the course my strike rate was less than 10% – meaning for every 10 submissions, only one was published. My strike rate is currently 44% and rising. In a few months I anticipate that I will be getting a publication rate equating to one published piece for every two submissions.That’s very encouraging.

Good writing.

A few tales to tell

I recently had some publication success. Yay!

Every year the Creative Writing department of the university where I recently completed my MA (Tabor Adelaide) publishes an anthology of poetry, short plays and short stories. The contributors are all present or former students, and a few staff members also add to the eclectic mix of writing. This anthology was the 6th edition and the quality is extremely high. The competition to be included is making it harder to be included every year, so I was pleased to have a short story and a poem in the latest issue.

I’ve read all six editions and have enjoyed all of the stories. Many of the poems could easily have found a home in any of our most prestigious literary journals. In fact, two of our regular contributors, both former students, have had stories published in a leading journal in recent months. It speaks volumes for the standard of teaching at Tabor Adelaide, and says much for the talents being nurtured.

The anthology is called Tales from the Upper Room, reflecting the theological roots of Tabor Adelaide and a direct link to the upper room where Jesus and his disciples met to celebrate the last supper. The ‘upper room’ also refers to the fact that our writers’ groups meet in The Loft, the highest room in the university.


Writing success

Last night we had the first meeting for 2010 of our writers’ groups at Tabor Adelaide, the university where I am doing my Master of Arts in Creative Writing.

This was a combined meeting of the various writers’ groups. With about 30 in attendance interest is high which is very encouraging. The shared pizza was nice too.

As part of the proceedings one of the lecturers had a long list of recent writing successes from various students, past and present. This must be encouraging to the staff as people are having success with their writing.

The main purpose for this meeting was to launch the annual anthology of writing from students and staff. Tales from the Upper Room has now seen its fifth edition and is going from strength to strength. The standard of writing is very high and competition to be included is intensifying as each new raft of students progresses through the various courses available.

Personal publishing success

I was pleased to see that four of my poems and two of my stories were chosen for the anthology this year. I also contributed parts of a baton poem, an exercise where we all took it in turns to contribute to a major poem.

Writing courses:

Lectures in the creative writing courses start in a few weeks time, but I’m sure you can still enroll. Most courses are available externally. Click here to go to the website – just follow the links to the Humanities department. I can thoroughly recommend the courses as being very useful. Staff support is also great.

Good writing.